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<p>My hens started laying at the beginning of September and have been laying excellently for a couple of months.  We have 8- RIR and Plymouth Barred Rocks, they were laying at LEAST 5 or 6 eggs a day and we often were getting 8 eggs a day!  It is getting colder here in Ontario, but last week the weather was fair for this time of year and they have plenty of nice warm shelter, food and water.  They slowed laying drastically w/i a couple days a week or so ago (actually the day we turned the clocks back we noticed the first drop cause we joked that they were reacting to the time change!) and now I have not had a single egg in 5 days!!!!  :(  They are only 7 months old, they have plenty of laying left in them.  I cannot figure out the problem, I wouldn't think cooler weather would stop them laying completely and so fast, I think dh switched feed brands a couple weeks ago, adding in more corn to help with the cold weather.  I cannot believe I am off to the grocery store to buy eggs for the first time in months, when I have 8 healthy hens in the barn that I spend $$ for food on and they are producing nothing and serving no purpose!  It is totally not worth it for me to feed them till march or april when the weather warms up again and they hopefully start laying again.  I am really frustrated!  What do I do!!!??  </p>
 

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<p>How much sun are you getting? It's been several years since we had hens, however I do remember that especially in late fall/early winter our hens would stop laying due to the lack of sun.</p>
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<p>It's a daylight issue, you need to supplement with more light in order to get them to lay over winter.</p>
<p>Add a light blub, put it on a timer to go on in the morning an hour before dawn and 1-2 hours after the sun has set.</p>
 

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<p>Yep, definitely a daylight issue.  They need 12 hrs/day of light to lay so adjust the light accordingly. The good news is once they get 12 hrs a day for a few days they will start laying.  It doesn't take long at all to get them laying again. </p>
 

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<p>I had 3 red sex link hens last winter and despite the metal shed and tiny plexiglass windows I cut the hens laid 2-3 eggs almost every day. They were pretty much locked up all the time too. I was very suprised.</p>
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<p>I give feed in the am and scratch in the pm. I have 5 teen hens born in May and one just laid her first egg yesterday.Now with 8 hens I am curious what they will do in the winter. I cut more holes in the metal shed,and just put some plexiglass in place for more light.</p>
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<p>Could you add more windows? Maybe do the corn in the afternoon.Hope you have some eggs soon. I refused to buy any when I had none(gave some away).</p>
 

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<p>Yep, put up a light.  This time of year I have a light I put on a timer.  Something</p>
<p>else to keep in mind for next year is that your hens will be due for their molt which will also stop their egg production.</p>
<p>I certainly know how you feel.  I have 20 hens in my coop and am lucky to get 3 eggs a day from the 7 month olds.  My</p>
<p>easter eggers have not produced an egg since September.  I must say I am getting annoyed with the small eggs.  Though</p>
<p>have been lucky enough to avoid having to buy any.</p>
 

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<p>Supplementing light may get you more eggs, but will be riding against the natural rhythm of your hens. They need that rest period in the winter, that's why it's... uh... natural that they go through it <span><img alt="wink1.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;"></span></p>
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<p>We have been contemplating adding some light in just to keep some production up, but so far I haven't felt like it is fair.... but as soon as we get zero eggs I may change my tune!</p>
 

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<p>I have a light that comes on at 3:30 am and off at about 8, when the sun is up.</p>
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<p>This lets them have a natural dusk period so they can get to roost without a light suddenly going off as it would if I had an evening one.</p>
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<p>My first year with chickens I was planning on letting them take a natural break, but months on end with zero eggs changed my tune. My first hens were two years old.</p>
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<p>This phenomena of no eggs when the days get short isn't so rigid if your hens are under a year old, but their second year and onward is when you will REALLY see the eggs drop in winter.</p>
 
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